In its first home action of the season, a resilient Penn baseball team swept a pair of doubleheaders to up its season record to 10-3. The Quakers, who have now won eight of their last nine, took two from West Chester on Saturday (7-2, 13-5) and swept Lehigh on Sunday (6-5, 7-3). Their 33-run output on the weekend naturally put Penn in good shape, but coach Bob Seddon's troops did more than merely overpower their opponents this weekend. "They were all competitive games," Seddon said. "We're executing reasonably well, and that's why we were able to win. It's really tough to ever win all four in a weekend." Penn's two wins against Division II West Chester were obviously welcome, but the highlight of the weekend had to be the two over Lehigh. In both games against the Engineers, the Quakers showed their resolve, coming from behind for the "W." After five innings of Sunday's matinee, the squads were knotted at three, as Penn's Andrew McCreery and Lehigh's Brian Andalman did their best to keep the contest a pitcher's duel. Things got rough for Penn in the top of the sixth, however. A double to the gap in right-center by Lehigh catcher Jeffrey Quiros and a throwing error by Penn third baseman Oliver Hahl put runners at first and second with one out. A passed ball put runners at the corners with Lehigh left fielder Matt Andrews at the plate. Andrews hit a grounder at Penn second baseman Nick Italiano, who tossed it to shortstop Steve Glass for the force at the second base. But the inning-saving 4-6-3 double play short-circuited when the ball dropped out of first baseman Ron Rolph's glove. The runner scored from third, giving Lehigh a 4-3 advantage. Engineers third baseman Matt Yarnold hit a long double to bring the runner all the way home from first in the ensuing at-bat, and that was all she wrote for McCreery. Junior right-hander Dan Fitzgerald came in to get the last out of the inning. The Quakers went quietly in the bottom of the sixth, and Fitzgerald gave up no runs in the seventh, setting the stage for a last-licks rally by Penn. Center fielder Randy Ferrell led the inning off with a stand-up double. Ferrell, whom Seddon dubbed the MVP of the weekend, went 5-for-9 and scored six runs in the four Penn wins. Sensing the need for pop at the plate, Seddon sent usual DH Zac Hanan in to pinch hit for freshman Mike Goldblatt. The decision paid off, as Hanan sent a belt-high Andalman offering well over the fence in left field for a game-tying two-run blast. "He threw me the same pitch twice," Hanan said. "The first time I swung and missed, and the second time I hit it out." After two ground-ball putouts, the Quakers loaded the bases with a walk and a pair of singles to put McCreery at the plate. The Quakers starting pitcher -- who had also been playing DH all game -- hit a single past the second baseman to give Penn the victory, 6-5. "He showed that he can help in more ways than one," Seddon said. In Sunday's second game, Lehigh took a 3-2 lead in the second inning, which it held until Penn scored two in the bottom of the fifth on the strength of an Italiano RBI double and a Hanan sacrifice fly for a run. Sophomore Ben Krantz pitched the first three innings for the Quakers but left after catching a line drive in the shin. He struck out four and yielded three runs. Sophomore southpaw Paul Grumet got the win for the Quakers, pitching three key innings of scoreless relief. Closer Nick Barnhorst pitched the seventh, but he failed to get the save since Penn had already built a four-run advantage. The Quakers really had no use for a closer in Saturday's wins over West Chester, as one explosive inning in each game spelled victory for the Red and Blue. In the early game, it was a four-run fifth inning that propelled the Quakers to victory. Penn's seven-run output was more than enough for pitcher Mike Mattern, who went the distance for a three-hitter. In the nightcap against the Rams, the Quakers erupted in the third inning for nine runs, four of which came on a grand slam by senior outfielder Chris May. Senior right-hander Matt Hepler upped his season record to a perfect 3-0 with the win. Hepler went six, and senior Brian Burket pitched the final inning for the Red and Blue.Comments powered by Disqus
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